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Neuroscience: Mind Reading (Neural Decoding) Essay

924 words - 4 pages

Early studies

Various companies have been researching this technology for years. In 2007, Microsoft wanted to evaluate the way people interact with their computers. They began research on using electroencephalograms (EEG’s) to record the electrical signals of a person user while they were using a computer. Microsoft is still currently doing research on the matter. In 2009, Toyota unveiled their idea for a ‘mind reading’ wheelchair. The chair was designed to help the handicapped or elderly get around more freely and be more active member of society. To make this happen, they want to use signals from the brain to read the desired actions of the user and have the wheelchair automatically perform those actions. This would greatly help those who are without the use of their arms or legs. More recently, independent researchers announced the prototype of a new mind reading helmet for pilots. The helmet would be designed to give researchers constant feedback on pilots ‘in flight’ condition and look for warning signs for such things excessive stress, and sleepiness.

On February 1st, 2012, the science and technology website, Technewsworld.com, released an article originally printed in PLoS Biology, involving further breakthrough in mind reading research. A team of researchers at the University of California at Berkeley had the idea of using mind reading technology in the fields of medicine and psychology. Through their trials, the neuroscientists at Berkeley have succeeded in decoding and reconstructing subjects dynamic visual experiences. In the early research, they were able to use a complex formula to capture, and piece together different sections of a person’s memory. One scientist likened it to viewing trailers to a bunch of different movies. It was a big breakthrough in the research of mind reading. They developed this method for deciphering electrical signals in a person’s brain as they listened to individual words or an entire conversation. After analyzing these signals, the scientists were able to create the imagined speech of the subject.

They developed this method for deciphering electrical signals in a person’s brain as they listened to individual words or an entire conversation. After analyzing these signals, the scientists were able to create the imagined speech of the subject.

“This is a major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery” Professor Jack Gallant, UC Berkeley
UC Berkeley’s research details

The researchers used a newly developed, functional Resonance Imaging (fMRI) model to conduct these test. The secret of the success lies in the temporal lobe of the brain which is used for auditory, or hearing, perception. As a person hears a word, the same activity occurs in the temporal lobe as when a person sees that word. For the tests, the scientists placed as many as 256 surface electrodes on the superior and temporal gyri part of the brain. The superior temporal gyrus includes the primary auditory cortex, which controls...

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